3D Printers

From Idea Shop Wiki

The Idea Shop offers five different types of 3D printers for users to choose from, with variations in material, price point, durability, printing speed, and overall finish. Use this guide to choose which printer will best suit your project.

Processing 3D Files

In order to be able to print anything in our 3D printers, your file MUST be in .stl format1. The STL format describes only the surface geometry of the object instead of the object as a whole. Once done, open the file in the Autodesk Netfabb software to repair the file.

We will only process STLs which have:
1 shell per continuous part
0 border edges
0 invalid orientations
0 holes

See Fixing STLs for more information.

Even if Netfabb reports no invalid orientations, if we see red triangles in repair mode there is a problem with your model. Print at your own risk.

Once your STL is ready to go and free of errors, ask an employee to assist you in setting up your print bed and sending your job to the 3D printing queue.

1 Color files for the zPrinter 450 can also be .vrml files.

3D Printers

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

uPrint Plus

Main Article : uPrint Plus
uPrint Plus

The uPrint is currently offline.

The uPrint Plus developed by Stratasys, Ltd. is a (FDM) machine, is ideal for models of parts that need to mimic the strength and detail of plastic injection molding. The uPrint Plus extrudes layers of ABS thermoplastic about 0.010 inches thick that stack up to form a 3D model of the desired part. The Idea Shop carries over 10 different colors and varieties (including premium versions) of ABS filament to choose from.

General Stats:
Material : Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
Maximum Part Size : 203mm x 203mm x 152mm (8in x 8in x 6in)
Layer Thickness : 0.254mm (.010in)
Price: $0.10 - $0.35 per cubic cm for model material, $0.60 per cubic cm for soluble support material

Monoprice Mini Select v2

Main Article : Monoprice Mini
Monoprice Mini

The Monoprice Mini Select v2, developed by Monoprice, is a (FDM) 3D printer. We have two Monoprice Minis here in the shop. These printers are free for users! However, the use of these printers is not supported by Idea Shop staff - aka, you're on your own!

Students are responsible for all aspects of using the machine, as laid out on this page. Please make an effort to follow the suggested settings, and try to keep your prints as short as possible. The printer is only available for use during normal operating hours, as it presents a fire hazard, therefore all prints must be executed before the end of the day.

This printer is much more simple than others available in the lab, and may not be able to handle complex geometry. If complex geometry is needed, consider using a different printer in the lab.

General Stats:
Material : Polylactic Acid (PLA)
Maximum Part Size : 120mm x 120mm x 120mm (4.7in x 4.7in x 4.7in)
Layer Thickness : Customizable
Resolution : 100 microns (0.1 mm)
Price : Free!

Selective Adhesion

zPrinter 450

Main Article: zPrinter 450
zPrinter 450

The zPrinter 450 developed by Z Corporation (acquired in 2012 by 3D Systems) is a fused deposition modeling (FDM) printer. The zPrinter 450 uses inkjet heads from HP to extrude a water based binder solution onto thin layers of a plaster based substrate. Each layer of plaster is 0.0035 inches – thinner than a standard sheet of 20lb printer paper. The addition of a tri-color HP cartridge allows for full range of color printing (including images) rather than the single-color printing of other machines in the shop.

General Stats:
Material : Plaster (CaSO4)
Maximum Part Size : 203mm x 254mm x 203mm (8in x 10in x 8in)
Layer Thickness : 89 microns (0.089mm)
Price : $0.65 per cubic cm

Stereolithography (SLA)


Main Article : Form2

The Form 2 3D printer, developed by Formlabs, is a stereolithography (SLA) machine that creates parts using liquid plastic that is solidified layer by layer using UV light.

General Stats:
Maximum Part Size : 144mm x 144mm x 175mm (5.7in x 5.7in x 6.9in)
Material: Methacrylate photopolymer resin
Layer Thickness : 25 to 300 microns (.001 – .012 in)
Price : $0.50 per cubic cm for standard resins, $0.65 per cubic cm for premium (flexible, elastic) resins


Objet Eden 260V

Main Article : Objet Eden 260V
Objet Eden 260V.

The Eden 260V developed by Stratasys is a rapid prototyping 3D printer. With a choice of 18 materials, the Objet Eden260V prints ultrafine 16 micron layers for exceptional detail, complex geometries and very thin walls.

General Stats:
Material : Liquid Photopolymer
Maximum Part Size : 260mm x 260mm x 200mm (10in x 10in x 8in)
Layer Thickness : 0.016mm (0.00063in)